- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

KABUL (AP) - Officials say nine policemen were killed and at least 24 other people were wounded after an attack on a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan.

Asadullah Sherzad says the bomber wearing a police uniform detonated himself inside the main police building in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. Sherzad is Helmand’s police chief.

Speaking from Lashkar Gah hospital, official Ayatullah Gafari says nine people were killed and 24 were wounded.

A police official Kamal Uddin says eight of those killed and 21 wounded were police officers. The rest were civilians.

Sherzad says the policemen were exercising in the yard at the time of the blast Monday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

KABUL (AP) _ A provincial police chief says a suicide bomber has killed at least three policemen and wounded seven others in southern Afghanistan.

Asadullah Sherzad says the bomber wearing a police uniform detonated himself inside the main police building in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. Sherzad is Helmand’s police chief.

Sherzad says the policemen were exercising in the yard at the time of the blast Monday.

Taliban militants often use suicide bombers in their attacks against Afghan and foreign troops. Southern Afghanistan is the center of the insurgency. The U.S. is rushing thousands of new troops to try reverse the Taliban gains, after the Islamic militants have made a comeback following their initial defeat in 2001.

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